MUM IN BUSINESS FEATURING: ADA & ALFRED

MUM IN BUSINESS FEATURING: ADA & ALFRED

MUM IN BUSINESS FEATURING: ADA & ALFRED

I am so incredibly excited to be bringing back the ‘Interview With A Mum In Business‘ series to Life Unexpected. Today I’m kicking things off by interviewing designer, blogger and shop owner Alex from ‘Ada & Alfred’. She’s also kindly giving away one of her products to a very lucky reader. You can enter the competition at the bottom of this post!

But first, before I dive in, let me share with you a little bit more about this series in case you are new here. Regular readers of this blog will know just how passionate I am about supporting Mums who have created their own business, alongside the juggle of everyday family life. By day I actually work as a freelance social media manager and brand consultant and I spend my working life helping small businesses and especially small ‘Mum run’ businesses to grow and flourish.

I love that this series gives a platform to these wonderful women and gives us a very rare insight into what it takes to pursue your dreams in amongst the hectic-ness of raising a family. The ‘Mum In Business’ series will run weekly from today and interviews will be published on a Friday.

If you are a Mum with a business and you wanted to take part, get in touch by dropping me an e-mail!

Interview With A Mum In Business: Ada and Alfred

Interview With A Mum In Business Featuring: Ada & Alfred

Alex is someone I’ve been in online groups with for years! I know her through the blogging world and I first heard of her via her popular parenting and lifestyle blog ‘Lamb and Bear’. She also ran an online business of the same name through her blog, where she created and sold the most amazing, funky kids, printed leggings.

She’s recently re-branded ‘Lamb and Bear’ and launched ‘Ada & Alfred’ so that she could expand her range and share more products aimed at grown ups, as well as kids. Her re-launch has seen her create some pretty cool slogan t-shirts, hoodies and jumpers that can be worn by men, women and children. A few of her products are definitely at the top of my Christmas wish list!

She also now creates personalised backpacks and stationary and all of her products are either handmade in or finished in the UK!

Before I give it all away though, lets hear from Alex herself. In today’s interview we find out how she juggles work and life with two kids, how she runs her businesses and what a typical day looks like for her. Over to Alex…

Tell us a bit about your business? Why and when did you start it?

I first launched my business at the end of 2015. It was originally going to be something I worked on around my part-time job as a fashion designer, but in October 2015 I was made redundant without notice and decide to put everything into my brand.

How did you get the idea for your business?

I worked in fashion and always dreamed of having my own brand. I basically became obsessed with printed leggings for my son who was 2 at the time. However, I wanted something more unique and unisex, and figured I had the skills and knowledge to design something myself!

Interview With A Mum In Business: Ada and Alfred

Where do you like to work from?

My sofa mostly! Sometimes my bed. and if it’s tidy I might get to work at my desk every now and then!

How do you balance both work and family life?

With difficulty. Honestly, I’m winging it. This is the part I need to work on. I need a better schedule. I’m responsible for the school run every day, and everything else about being a stay at home mum. Yet, I’m also responsible for running my business. Oh and did I mention I have a fairly established family/lifestyle blog too?!

What is your vision/dream for your business?

My responsible dream is to successful enough to pay myself a full-time salary. At the moment I don’t pay myself anything as the business is still so small. My vision is inspire people with the slogans I write. My signature slogan is “Coffee and Conquer” and is inspired by my life, and the lives of many other busy parents, non-parents. Have a coffee and conquer your day. I want people to read my slogans, see my products and maybe, just maybe, feel a bit happier.

Interview With A Mum In Business: Ada and Alfred

What have been your biggest challenges so far and how did you overcome them?

Finding a UK manufacturer was a huge challenge, they don’t advertise themselves much so it took hours of scouring google before I found a UK factory to move my production to.

What has been the highlight of running your own business?

Having people I know tell me they’ve spotted kids wearing my leggings and instantly recognising them. That seems so simple, but it honestly makes me so proud to know my products are out there.

How did you fund your business?

I had a small investment from my father-in-law to buy my first collection of leggings. After that the business is self funded. Once I have enough money from sales, I buy new product. I’m passionate and confident about my designs, but I’m not stupid. I’m not throwing a lot money at something until I know it’s going to pay off.

Mum In Business Featuring Ada And Alfred

What advice would you give to other mums starting a business?

Really consider what you’re able to offer your business. Time, money, talent. Don’t expect the world if you’re only putting in a few hours a week. Follow your dreams, but set yourself realistic goals along the way.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

I start off with the school run. I have 3 days without my 2 year old to work. On those days I usually start off by checking my emails (for both the blog and the shop). I then write myself a to-do list. If I have a lot of blog deadlines I’ll allocate most of the time to that, however if I have orders to send those become priority.

I think about the content I can share on social media and if I’m lacking in photos I’ll take a few of the samples I have at home.

There’s always a chore or two to fit in so my working day also consists of doing the laundry and cleaning. But I try not to do too much and treat a working day as if I’m in an office somewhere and not at home.

At 3pm I pick up my eldest from school and if he lets me I’ll carry on with some work until tea time.

I work most evenings until around midnight.

Mum In Business Featuring Ada & Alfred

Do you have any tips to banish the mum guilt we all feel?

You’re a person too, you’re not only a mum. You’re allowed to want a career, something more. If you’re passionate about working, then show your children what it’s like to build a career and follow your dreams.

Do you ever get the chance to have time off for yourself? If so, what do you like to do?

Not really. Sometimes instead of working late, I’ll stay up and binge watch something on Netflix.

What is your favourite thing about the products that you create?

Everything I design has a meaning, is inspiring, and has come from my little brain. That’s pretty cool.

Interview With A Mum In Business: Ada and Alfred

Giveaway

Thank you so much Alex for this wonderful insight into your business. I can’t wait to watch Ada & Alfred flourish and I hope you get that full time salary soon – it is so well deserved.. Alex is is also kindly giving away one of her slogan sweatshirts to a lucky winner. You can choose either the  ‘Coffee and Conquer’, ‘Tea and Triumph’ or ‘Wine and Winning’ sweatshirt. To enter, simply fill in the rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How Cool Are Ada & Alfred’s Products?

I really want the ‘Coffee and Conquer’ sweatshirt for myself. I also love Alex’s advice for other Mums wanting to start a business. It’s so true that you need realistic goals and to put in the time.

If you are a small business though or if you are a Mum who works from home then definitely check out the ‘Career‘ and ‘Mum In Business‘ section on Life Unexpected, where you’ll find some super helpful tips and tricks.

So, what do you think of Ada & Alfed? Which of her slogan tops is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!

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56 Comments

  1. Margaret Gallagher
    September 14, 2018 / 2:55 pm

    Style comfort and class wonderful site

  2. Solange
    September 14, 2018 / 4:04 pm

    I love that they offer unique and unisex clothing.

  3. Peter Watson
    September 14, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    I like to see hard working small businesses like Ada and Alfred doing well.

  4. Caron Twyman
    September 14, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    I love the slogans and the pieces look real quality. I’d be proud to wear it!

  5. Sadiyya Maryam
    September 14, 2018 / 8:04 pm

    Really unique and stylish clothing. Something I would love to throw on for the school run. Totally refreshing to see small companies with great ideas.

  6. Ashleigh Allan
    September 14, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    I love that it’s all unique and stylish. Looks great

  7. September 14, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    What a lovely idea! They are so fashionable and stylish. I think my niece would love one of those bags.

  8. September 15, 2018 / 4:20 am

    Love the designs. Running a new small business is tough, but fun. It takes hard work, determination and vision. It does pay off eventually.

    Oh and binge watching Netflix is definitely the way forward. Only dont try it while you are meant to be working. Netflix wins.

  9. Ailsa
    September 15, 2018 / 6:50 am

    Great products and amazing work ethic. No way could I look after two kids and work to midnight like that. Well done!

  10. Sue McCarthy
    September 15, 2018 / 7:04 am

    I like the Dadcula t-shirt. The kids clothes are cute too.

  11. clair downham
    September 15, 2018 / 10:34 am

    i love how different everything is and i would love to win a wine and winning swater thankyou

  12. Pam Gregory
    September 15, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    Great to see a small business doing well. Love the stylish clothes offered by them.

  13. Susan B
    September 16, 2018 / 10:38 am

    I like the simplicity of the designs on all their products but the backpack is my favourite. I run a mile when I see retailers selling pink frilly clothes for girls so welcome unisex designs and colourways like these. .

  14. September 17, 2018 / 9:04 am

    These look like unique clothes, they’d be perfect as they’re stylish, simple and would mix with the clothes I have already seamlessly!

  15. Laura Walker
    September 17, 2018 / 9:17 am

    I have been following the brand for sometime on Instagram. She shows you can follow your dream and be a mum. Love her designs especially Tea and Triumph I definitely need my tea before the day ahead!

  16. Amy Bondoc
    September 17, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    the clothing looks like its good quality which is important to me. my favourite design is the 2cool tee love it 🙂

  17. Michelle Smith
    September 17, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    Such lovely products I especially like the backpacks

  18. Alice Colling
    September 18, 2018 / 9:35 am

    What a great idea, and some are so unique. I love it!

  19. andrea upton
    September 18, 2018 / 11:06 am

    I think it is really great that you are supporting mums in business. I think these products are great and I really like the seatshirts

  20. Lorna Ledger
    September 18, 2018 / 6:06 pm

    Love the ‘WILD’ Unisex Fit Sweatshirt – Nude* I would rock this and the GIN Sweatshirt! Good ethics as a company hand made and in the uk 🙂

  21. Ross Sioux
    September 19, 2018 / 12:43 am

    these designs are inspiring to look at and would make a great gift for my coffee obsessed mother!

  22. Carole Nott
    September 20, 2018 / 9:19 pm

    love the original designs of products by Ada & Alfred – wishing them every continued success

  23. Suzanne Gaulton
    September 21, 2018 / 10:20 am

    Lovely products! The ‘Motherhoodie’ really made me smile – that’s a fave for me!! Kids ‘prowling tiger’ t-shirt so cool too. Best wishes for success, x

  24. Sally Collingwood
    September 21, 2018 / 10:21 am

    The trendy modern styles of their designs, love all their beautiful clothes

  25. Sam Parkes
    September 21, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    Love the slogan hoodies, stylish and comfortable perfect as a busy mum

  26. Jules Eley
    September 21, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    I love the hoodies and the rucksacks… I especially love the slogans they are refreshing ..

  27. Mrs Theresa Thomas
    September 23, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    I love all the really unique and stylish clothing, my favourite are the slogan hoodies

  28. cheryl hadfield
    September 23, 2018 / 4:58 pm

    Great ideas and products, I really like the hoodies and sassy slogans

  29. Jayne Townson
    September 23, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    I’ve just had a look around Ada & Alfred and I’m really impressed, they have some lovely designs to choose from. I love the Diet Cola and Dreaming Unisex Sweatshirt and the ‘Motherhoodie’ Women’s Hoodie is a fantastic design. I’d much sooner buy from a small business like this than elsewhere, I wish them all the best.

  30. Sarah
    September 24, 2018 / 3:54 pm

    I’m really impressed by their website and loved reading this interview. It reminded me exactly why I love supporting independent businesses – service, passion and quality! Love the Ada & Alfred website – the ‘it’s a gin thing’ hoodie is right up my street!

  31. September 24, 2018 / 10:38 pm

    I absolutely love Ada and Alfreds designs! They’re different and great quality.

  32. September 25, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    I really love the products I think they are very quirky

  33. JULIE WARD
    September 25, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    Love the Dadcula t’shirt and the It’s a gin thing t’shirt, kids t’shirts are nice as well

  34. September 26, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    I love how original and different all the designs are

  35. Deanie Gillies
    September 26, 2018 / 4:24 pm

    I love the designs, especially the Mumma sweatshirts… I could see myself running around in one of those beauties .I cant begin to imagine what running a new small business is like, other than extremely tough & often stressful. Its your baby though so determination will always get you where you want to be if you really want it! xx

  36. susan smith
    September 26, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    I love the original designs, and all the slogans, beautiful products

  37. Melissa Lee
    September 27, 2018 / 8:04 am

    They’re very quirky designs and the slogans are really inventive. I love the Motherhoodie sweatshirt.

  38. September 27, 2018 / 9:16 am

    I like the different style and my favourite is the Super Kid’ Lightning T-Shirt – Light Grey

  39. Kay Broomfield
    September 27, 2018 / 10:23 am

    Love that “Motherhoodie” top!

  40. Rachael Sexey
    September 27, 2018 / 10:59 am

    I have been following the brand since they started on Instagram. She shows you can follow your dreams and aspirations and be a mum. Love all her designs especially Tea and Triumph I definitely need my tea to start the day 😛

  41. Jacqueline Roberts
    September 27, 2018 / 11:37 am

    Some great products on there particularly love the muscle top for my son

  42. Hayley Todd
    September 27, 2018 / 11:48 am

    I absolutely love the designs, they are really funky and unique and cater for the whole family! My favourite item for me is the Coffee and Conquer sweatshirt, and for my daughter is the Cuddles & Chaos sweatshirt.

  43. September 27, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    I love the tea and triumph jumper and the uniqueness of all the designs, it is fun to have something different than the norm!

  44. holly harmsworth
    September 27, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    I love Ada & Alfred products. My favourite at the moment is the lioness sweatshirt

  45. Ruth Wollerton
    September 27, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    I love the coffee and conquer sweatshirt. But they are all soo cute and funky. Thanks for the chance xxx

  46. September 27, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    As a big tea drinker i love the Tea and Triumph Logo. The website has some lovely clothes for kids too. The backpacks are amazing and i adore the colour ranges.

  47. Rebecca Whatmore
    September 27, 2018 / 4:24 pm

    I love It’s A Gin Thing’ Unisex Crew Neck T-Shirt

  48. Laura Napier
    September 27, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    I love how they’re unlike anything else on the market – the uniqueness in slogans is perfect!

  49. Tee Simpson
    September 27, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    I love the unique designs. I especially love the motherhoodie and the personalised bags. I love how Alex started..very inspirational.

  50. Lisa Mcalley
    September 27, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    I love the mother hoody. It looks great quality at a decent price. Would love to try an item as sick of cheap clothes that don’t last

  51. natalie Crossan
    September 27, 2018 / 11:11 pm

    The “Motherhoodie” is my absolute favourite item on their website 🙂

  52. Lia Burns
    September 27, 2018 / 11:13 pm

    I love the unique but quirky designs, they look really well made and the colours are awesome. I will definitely be a new customer x

  53. Kay Tee
    September 27, 2018 / 11:59 pm

    I like the quirky prints and fun colours. The adult hoodies look super comfy!

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